I recently had the opportunity to talk with Anthony Raneri, guitarist and vocalist for Bayside. We talked about their European and Australian tours, as well as why they call each city on a tour stop by a restaurant name (they’re all major “foodies,”) and lastly, “Killing Time” and the inspiration behind the name, album cover, and songs.
Anthony is a cool guy and if you don’t know much about the band, you should definitely read my interview. Even if you know everything about the band, check it out anyway! Read it here.
Dying Scene: What’s up, Anthony? How are you doing?
Anthony: Hey man, I’m good. how are you?
Dying Scene: I’m doin’ alright. Just hangin’ out right now. Lets talk about Bayside and the band.
Anthony: Ok, cool.
Dying Scene: You guys finished a tour with Senses Fail a couple of months ago then you did the whole “Where’s The Band” tour after. How’d those two tours go?
Anthony: They were great! The co-headline tour with Senses Fail was the biggest one we’ve done. When we were finished with it, the numbers were unbelievable. It was just so many people coming out. We were stoked about it.
Dying Scene: Yeah dude, there were a lot of people. I saw you guys at the Royale [in Boston] back in October and the crowd was extremely receptive. The only time I’ve seen you guys has been in an outdoor setting. The first two times at Warped Tour Pomona a couple of years ago and then your solo-tour at Chain Reaction. It’s a totally different experience watching you guys indoor.
Anthony: Oh cool, those were great shows! Yeah, it is different. But the crowds were great, they seemed to like the new songs
Dying Scene: You guys are heading out to Europe with A Day To Remember and Pierce The Veil in a couple of days, correct?
Anthony: Yeah, we leave on Saturday
Dying Scene: And you come back Stateside for 2 shows for the album release?
Anthony: Yeah, we’re doing 2 acoustic album release things at record stores, but it’s only 2 days. Then we jump back on a plane and head to Australia.
Dying Scene: Was that something you wanted to do? Be here in the States when the album is released or did it just work out like that?
Anthony: Definitely. It’s sort of a tradition. Ever since our first album [Sirens and Condolences] we’ve always done that whole Looney Tunes/Long Island, our hometown indie-record show. We’ll always do a release party there. It’ll be about 40-something hours of traveling to make it happen but it’s important for it to happen, to support the indie-record store and keep a foot in where we came from. As the band grows, we get to do these cool new things, we always want to make sure we take care of Long Island.
Dying Scene: Definitely. When was the last time you were down in Australia?
Anthony: Last year? Two Years ago, I think?
Dying Scene: And this time you’re playing with New Found Glory and Less Than Jake. How’d that come about?
Anthony: Well, we’re going to be playing a couple of Festivals. Bands like Slayer, Iron Maiden are all going to be playing. A bunch of our buddies, like, NFG and LTJ and Anberlin are also on the festival bill. So while we’re down there, we decided to do a couple of club shows. A couple with NFG and LTJ and then a couple with Anberlin and The Starting Line.
Dying Scene: Yeah man, sounds like you guys are gathering up all these frequent flyer miles. You guys are traveling so much haha
Anthony: Haha, yeah man, it’s nuts. Even when we’re down in Australia, we’re doing a different city each night and when we’re there, we’re flying man. In the States we take the bus from city to city but in Australia, we fly. So after all the traveling between Europe and coming back to the States and then flying back to Australia, it’ll be another 10 flights in 10 days while we’re down there.
Dying Scene: Wow, so when you guys are globetrotting, what do you guys do on your days off or when you’re not traveling? Is there something you want to hit up or something you want to see?
Anthony: I guess it depends on where we are. For us, days off are not planned to be fun, you know what i mean? The agents don’t book the days off so you could explore, they’re sort of there for traveling. So if the cities are really far apart, that’s where you’ll get a day off.
Dying Scene: Oh, I got you. So a day off when there’s a day or two between cities?
Anthony: Yeah, I think we have a day off in France and possibly in Spain.
Dying Scene: And are you guys, like, big foodies?
Anthony: Oh yeah, that’s how we gauge cities haha. When people ask us what our favorites cities we go to are. If we like a city, it all comes down to the food. That’s how we gauge if a city is cool or not haha
Dying Scene: So with that said, what’s your favorite food and what city is it located in?
Anthony: hahaha, oh man, there’s a list…so long. We’ve gotten to the point of calling cities by the food we eat there. Like, there’s a grilled-cheese place in Cleveland called Melt so we’ll say “tomorrow we play Melt”…We have a place in every city.
Dying Scene: haha, that’s great. Lets talk about Killing Time. The album cover, probably one of my favorite album of all time. The astronaut just hanging in a restaurant, sort of “Killing Time.” I love it, it’s great.
Anthony: Thanks! The name “Killing Time” for us is sort of the theme of the record. Not in the sense of “wasting time” but more like “waiting for something.” Like, the title track of the record there’s a line that says “I spent all my life waiting for a moment to come” and that’s kind of the theme for the record, at least lyrically. It’s really relevant to our place in the band right now. This is the record we wanted to make, this is where we want to be. So that’s where Killing Time comes from. And the picture comes from an artist named Hunter Freeman. He did a whole series of these astronaut pictures called “It’s not always fun to be an astronaut.” We approached Hunter and asked if we could use that picture.
Dying Scene: It’s a great picture. If I remember correctly, you guys finished the album a year ago and Wind-Up wanted to do publicity up until the release. Is that something you guys were comfortable in doing? Recording it, sitting on it, going back and listening to it?
Anthony: Yeah, we’ve never done something like that before but honestly, it’s totally the way to do it. I keep saying that this is THE Bayside record, by far the best we’ve done, and I think that has something to do with the way we wrote & recorded it. We had that time to make it. We never had the opportunity. We re-wrote, re-listened, re-recorded until it was something we thought was perfect.
Dying Scene: And right now the finished product is everything you wanted it to be
Anthony: Exactly, it’s perfect.
Dying Scene: Going back to the album, lyrically it’s extremely personal. The song “Sick, Sick, Sick” draws inspiration from the separation/divorce you just went through. Is the rest of that album extremely personal to you as well?
Anthony: Yeah, definitely. It’s not all songs of heartbreak necessarily, like that song is. But I was never really a write, you know what i mean? I was never really a singer either until I started this band but I was always a little nervous about lyrics and nervous about whether or not they were coming across and how they were coming across. but the only way I know lyrics is to just write from, you know, the heart because i’m not really that good at being clever haha.
Dying Scene: Right? I mean, your honesty is all you have and if people can connect to that in some way then you’re doing your job as a musician.
Anthony: Absolutely. It’s the only way I know how to do things.
Dying Scene: The songs range from fresh tarts to band camaraderie and even hopeful ballads. There’s a song with a song with an orchestra and a horn section…
Anthony: Yeah, the song is called “On Love, On Life.” I originally wrote it on acoustic guitar and we were trying to figure out how to treat it. All our songs start on acoustic guitar and they go from there. THat song didn’t sound right as a rock song, and we wanted to keep it mellow and do something we haven’t done on our record before.
Dying Scene: Who’d you guys use?
Anthony: you know what, I have no idea haha. That’s something that our producer did. We come up with melodic ideas for the orchestra and for the horns and it went from there.
Dying Scene: What’s your favorite song on that record?
Anthony: “Mona Lisa” is my favorite song on the record. It’s probably my all-time favorite Bayside song.
Dying Scene: Jack says that this album is a new chapter, a new beginning for you guys. With that said, what’s in the future for Bayside?
Anthony: you know, that’s not really up to us. We just keep doing what we do. We’re on a much bigger label now. The band is getting bigger, a lot more people are coming to the show, which is great. But we’re going to keep making records and keep going out on tour and what comes, comes!
Dying Scene: Well dude, I just want to wish you luck on your upcoming European and Australian tours. Any last word to your fans?
Anthony: Thanks to everyone! we have really great fans and we wouldn’t be doing what we do without them.
Dying Scene: Thanks so much, Anthony. We’ll talk soon.
Anthony: Cool, thank you!